Martial Arts Motivation – 3 Things That Prevent Any Person From Achieving the Rank of Black Belt
Here’s an interesting statistic: For all those students who walk through the door, join up, buy the uniform and take classes, only about three out of every one-hundred students will ever achieve the rank of Black Belt.
Why? They are dedicated. They understand what they’re getting into, don’t they? They apply themselves in the classroom like they mean business, too. So what happens to that 97%?
In most cases, there are only three things that prevent a person from earning a Black Belt. When I ask students what they think those three are, they usually don’t have a clue. I get answers like, “Lack of dedication, sir!” Nope. “Lack of proper focus, sir!” Wrong again. Some others I hear: Not trying hard enough. Not paying attention. Lack of will power. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
And the scary thing is, these same three barriers are the reason why you-me-all of us fail to complete almost anything we do.
Are you ready for the answer? The three things are: Money, Time, and Health. And all three of those things are the outward evidence of your inward motivation.
Look-and if you’re a student working toward your Black Belt, no matter what style or system-and this is important: When your instructor trains you to work hard physically, he or she intentionally pushes you to your limit, whether it be the number of pushups you can do, how fast you can kick, or how well you can follow instructions. It’s all for your own good. You are pushed to your limit, then taught to overcome that limitation. Just one more pushup. Kick one more time, just a little bit faster. A little bit more effort and energy than you thought you had in you. That’s how you advance, get better, improve.
Martial Arts is about more than just block-punch-kick-punch-“I win!“ It’s about personal success and achievement. It’s all about going as far as you’re able, then, when you think you can’t do any more or any better, find that place deep down inside yourself where you make yourself go just a little bit further, do a little bit better, succeed a little bit more. That’s how tournaments are won and champions are made. That’s how you become able to defend yourself on the street. That’s how you succeed at anything.
Except getting your Black Belt? Amazingly, as willing as students are to be subjected to hard physical and mental workouts, they don’t seem to understand that you must transfer that ability to overcoming barriers in other areas of your personal life!
Like money and time management. And injuries? Well, be reasonable. Be patient and let them heal. But as soon as they do, get back in the game.
I guarantee you that sometime between now and when you finally pass your Black Belt test, you are going to think you have to quit. Maybe you’ll think of quitting for just for a little while, and then you’ll get back into it when some issues are resolved. Unfortunately, most people never get back into it. Money, Time, and Health are almost always the reason why.
What can you do? Apply your Martial Arts training those areas of your life. Does it seem as though there’s just no way to work out the budgeting issue? Talk with your instructor, you spouse, and even yourself. Are there possibilities other than those that seem obvious? Brainstorm. Talk it over with a trusted friend or counselor. How can you manage your time differently? We all have the same twenty-four hours in a day, and the same dollar signs in our budgets. Both money and time can be managed if you don’t let them manage you.
Health is a little different. Usually, when people experience health related set-backs, they don’t lose their motivation. That’s a good thing, but be reasonable. Martial Arts practice should always improve, not harm your health.
You can overcome the barriers that Money, Time, and Health may present. When you’re down on the floor sucking carpet dust and you don’t think you can do another pushup, you find a way to do it anyway. If you believe your only option is a smelly carpet, you won’t be inspired to succeed. But knowing you are not limited by what you are experiencing at the moment will put you in a frame of mind to see answers and possibilities you never realized were there.